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London Wasps moved into fourth place on the league table after an impressive 3-42 win at Vicarage Road. It was the side’s second away-win of the season and the third in a row.
This win means Wasps have beaten the Watford based team in the last eight league matches played between the sides, and allows The Black & Gold Army to go into next weekend’s game, against Newcastle Falcons, full of confidence.
The margin of victory is somewhat surprising considering that the after 35 minutes the score was only 3-all. Flyhalves Mark Van Gisbergen and Andy Goode trading penalties on 10 and 29 minutes respectively and for the fans watching, it was a very low-key opening half-hour. Saracens did come close to scoring the first try of the game when Mark Bartholomuesz intercepted the Wasps backline passing. The centre made his way to within yards of the tryline but his run was cut short when winger, John Rudd, tackled him. The ball was knocked on and the home side missed a great opportunity.
As half-time approached, a Saracens lapse in concentration saw Warren Gatland’s side capitalise. The first try of the game came when scrumhalf, Peter Richards, hacked the ball ahead, gathered and laid off to Tom Voyce. The fullback rounded the defensive lines and offloaded to No.8, Ian Clarke, who scored the try. Van Gisbergen landed the conversion with ease. <1>
Moments later Voyce went over himself as once again Saracens were caught napping. The conversion was made from Van Gisbergen and Wasps went into the break 3-17 ahead.
As the second half started things went from bad to worse for Saracens, as prop, Ben Broster, was yellow carded for illegal use of the knee. Wasps took advantage and Van Gisbergen landed the resulting penalty. No sooner had the game restarted, had Craig Dowd scored Wasps’ third try. Dowd, who was also celebrating his 31st birthday, scored the try after some poor defence from the home side. Richards led the charge up field and made the ball available for Dowd to force his way over. The conversion was once again landed and Wasps stretched the lead to 3-27.
Saracens were still down to 14 men when centre, Fraser Waters, scored his fourth try in two games. The ball was passed down a simple backline movement; Voyce stepped inside and offloaded to Waters who scored the bonus point try. The conversion was missed but at this stage it was game over as Wasps lead 3-32.
Gatland brought on the replacements as Ayoola Erinle came on for Mark Denney and Martin Purdy replaced Simon Shaw.
Van Gisbergen landed his third penalty of the afternoon to further punish Saracens and extend the lead to 3-35.
The final 20-minutes saw the home side try and stem any further punishment. Wasps pushed on and went looking for another try. It came in injury time via Voyce. After the driving maul failed to find the tryline, the ball made its way down the backline to allow Voyce to score his second try of the afternoon. Van Gisbergen added the final nail to the coffin as Wasps buried Saracens 3-42.